More Paranoia of the Everyday mind

More Paranoia of the Everyday mind

That feeling you get when you know you did something (that made sense at the time) that turned out to be the wrong thing to do.  You know no one notices.  But you’re worried that they might.  So when someone (who is in position to know about your situation) is in a bad mood that day, you can’t help but wonder if their emotions are because they know and are actually mad at you.  But then you think that they would just tell you if it was a problem.  Then you remember all the other times people chose not to tell you something until way later because of politics.  So you take their bad mood as a sign that you’ve fallen out of favor with them and decide to avoid them.   Until they notice you are avoiding them.  Then they think you are unhappy, but they still don’t know your petty mishap because it really isn’t a big deal.  So they now think you don’t like them because you are avoiding them because they are in a bad mood because you think they might think less of you.

I really just don’t understand people in bad moods.  To the point that I think it all revolves around me and what I did.

Oh the bliss of a perfect childhood and wonderful parents.  Sheltered yes, but only because I’m not rich enough to choose who I spend time with every day.

Everyday Paranoia of the Creative Mind

Everyday Paranoia of the Creative Mind

I need a new outlet for all the stories my imagination creates to keep itself busy.  Am i not social enough or am I too social for my natural self?  Or maybe I still have PTSD from childhood and all the social “training” I had to go through to behave in public.

Take being taught to be polite and considerate as an example.  Being considerate assumes that you predict what others consider to be considerate.  Do they really care if you don’t step way aside in the grocery store isle?  Maybe, but no one knows for sure.  No one can read minds, but if we are all trained on the same rules then we can move around each other with less collisions and more confidence.  So not true.  So I was taught to be considerate, now I am moving out of every one’s way but no one is moving out of my way.  Some people just charge right on past and actually get mad at me when their arm brushes mine.  As if it didn’t take two.

I guess I took social rules too seriously to the point where I missed the phase when I was supposed to be bending the rules to learn which ones don’t really matter after specific ages.

I often ask myself why I care what someone else might think.  I really don’t.  But my imagination like to make up stories with real world people in them for its own entertainment.  What if so-and-so really meant “this” even though quite clearly with the entire context of the situation taken into account, they rally meant “that.”

When my imagination goes wild it takes me along for the ride cycling through every emotion possible to make sure I didn’t miss anything.  I usually end up coming right back to where I started, assured of my initial experience of the situation.  But that interim week while I delve into the ether of my mind so afraid that what my imagination comes up with might be true is an emotional roller coaster that I prefer not to ride.  I don’t like highs and lows, I prefer sustainable plateaus or gently rising slopes.

Maybe I am bored, or maybe I just need to finally learn how to actually write.

 

On Luck

On Luck

Daydreaming is one of my favorite past times.  That and sleeping, probably because it involves dreaming.  I can’t read anyone else’s mind but I feel like I’m more of a space case than a lot of people I have met.

It’s not robotic to be in perfect tandem with the flow in life.  It requires a specific logic to stay pointed in the right direction.  Emotional people find it boring to look in because they don’t feel the luck.  The luck might be an illusion.  Maybe when people feel lucky it is just an emotion that happens to be fixated on specific activities.  Those activities might be detrimental, but the emotion of luck being on your side is intoxicating.  Luck shows up and simply lights up the way.  Suddenly you feel lighter and more at ease because everything you are looking for is just given to you.  The outcome of every decision yields dividends.

The optimism gets scary.  Like all those times you were having too much fun to notice the cliff you are dancing next to.  Going up that high, especially for the first time brings about severe doubt at oneself and my greater macro environment.  I look around in amazement thinking at the fact that it is possible to be this happy.  I did not know.  I thought it was something worth striving for.  It’s happiness at so many things.  The doubt starts analyzing it deeper to prepare for an even greater apocalypse than was every thought possible.  The what-ifing.  It pairs up with fear to show me the potential outcomes of losing major pieces of my happiness pie.  It’s goal is to find the source of the happiness, to prioritize what gets protected most in the event of a catastrophe.  It scans all the major people in my life and imagines they die.  Freaky as hell.  The thoughts make me feel like those outcomes are possible soon.  It takes effort to let those thoughts go.

It’s expensive to live here.  It has always been expensive to live here.  It shouldn’t be so surprising that people spend so much money that bills overwhelm them enough to make them cry.  It’s like some sort of self flagellation for being alive.  It’s a luxury to just live here without ever having to think about money.  Don’t cry because you’re not one of those luxurious people.  There are so many other areas in life that I’m actually luckier in that there is no sense in dwelling on the one area not maxed out right now.  Besides I had that for a few months.  A few glorious months of pure freedom from my self, my career, my problems, etc.  I’ve tasted it.  Doing what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it.  Luck lite the way into it, through it, and forward to a higher plateau.  Up here weight is less heavy.  I don’t know that I am any stronger than before.  Wiser yes, wise enough to realize that I’ve landed in a lucky spot.  The world changed and I was holding my hand out like usual and this is what is going on this round.

On getting straight As

On getting straight As

It took me until my third degree to get straight As in any one semester or degree program.  Getting straight As has been my plight since I got straight Os in kindergarden.  The next closest I came was all As and B+ in 6th grade.  That damn B+ demotivated me until high school, when I tried again freshman year.  New school, new me.  New form of delusion.  I discovered a whole world of new books to read that were not listed on any syllabus whatsoever.  I learned a lot in high school, but probably only 30% of that knowledge was in the curriculum.  College was just a more adult repetition of high school.  Day dreams of being a revered honors student while I was drinking in my friend back yard the night before a final that I was sure I would ace.  3.02.  That was my undergrad GPA.  I flew outta there after 5 years vowing never to return to those dry business subjects.  My friend showed me the grad school business curriculum and I shrieked in horror at the sight of “economics 510” listed on the MBA required courses list.  It literally did sound like a hell until suddenly two years later I looked once more at the school website.  I was so exhausted by shit jobs that school once again sounded like an paradise.  School paradise is one where everyone sleeps when they are tired, except before midterms.  Work can be turned in incomplete and you are still allowed to continue attending the class.  You can even sleep in class and still be allowed to come back.  After working in an investment bank, that economics class suddenly sounded fascinating because I finally understood that language.  New degree, new me.  New level of understanding my limitations.  Turns out grad school is a lot of work crammed into a short span of time.  I graduated with a 3.35 and although I had gained a vast new view of the world, I still felt like an idiot because of all the information I encountered that I didn’t fully understand.  The next 5 years after grad school I spent in a constant state of epiphany.  I encountered more knowledge than I could remember, yet when I encountered forgotten concepts in the real world I knew what to do with it.  I just couldn’t remember it all back then during test time, but it was all in there somewhere, waiting to an anchor itself to a real world experience.

This after-learning bothered me.  If school should come in the beginning, then why do I learn so much more after all the testing is done?  My grades are in no way indicative of what I learned from getting a masters degree.  They only say how much I learned while in class.

Anyways.. I started dabbling in classes again once I plowed through all the non-fiction books for dummies at the library.  My grad school student loan made me stick to the inexpensive classes at the community college.  My attendance to on campus lectures induced anxiety which required that i stick to online only classes.  I figured out that as long as I turned in all the homework and follow assignment instructions, I got As.  The quality of the work was not being graded at this level (my art homework is evidence of this), just the fact that people made an effort to even do it got them an A.  Or perhaps, having already ascended through the graduated level, my work quality was already A level in community colleges.  AKA the bar is set low there.

How refreshing.  You mean I don’t have to care about oxford commas here?  Or group projects.  Or having to be somewhere on time awake and happy?  I can just learn what I learn without the stress of cramming in all the stuff I’m not so interested in but still get awesome grades?  How fun…

This carefree approach to picking interesting classes along with the higher salary from my graduate degree helped me to just enjoy the classes I took.  I was working full time so I started by taking once class a semester.  That was easy.  So then I took two.  Until I noticed I could squeeze in an eight week class because some 16 week classes really aren’t a lot of work every week.  Suddenly I was only four classes from an AA degree.  Because I already had a bachelor’s degree, I was just focusing on the specific subject I was interested in and wasn’t distracted by other subjects that, are interesting in themselves, but not what I was in the mood for soaking in.

So many things lead me to a situation where I finally got straight As.  So is my plight done? Mission accomplished?  Goal achieved?  no.  Getting straight As in online classes at the community college level after having already graduated at a master’s level is expected.  Is it an improvement and a positive sign that I am headed in the right direction? yes.

Figuring out what works for me has been huge in my understanding of what skills are important to work on, but it has also shown me what more I would need to do in future, more rigorous programs to keep my winning streak going.

 

On Loss

On Loss

“How do you feel about your sister getting another dog so soon?”  He asked over an hour after I explained the terrible situation to him.

“I think it is a great idea,” I said.  “She has all the energy to be a dog owner and there are other dogs out there who need a home.”

He looked puzzled but didn’t press the issue more.  As if mourning could only be done without a role replacement.

I walked up the stairs still explaining, “Nothing changes the fact that she died, not a new dog, not waiting to get another one, not getting out of bed early, not lying in bed depressed for two weeks.  Nothing changes the fact that she had cancer and despite the fact that we did everything to give her a happy healthy life, she still died at the age of three like all four vets who checked her out told us she would.”

“I guess that makes sense,” he said closing his bed room door, “well, sleep well.”

“Good night,” I shrugged, not in the mood to cry about it.  Crying only happens in certain mood and around certain people.  Otherwise I’m fine, it all seems so black and white like her pretty soft fur.

That conversation has been rattling around in my head all day.  That one as well as one I had a long time ago with another friend who didn’t understand why I got my current dog so soon after I lost the previous one to cancer.

“It’s just a rebound dog,” he said as if he thought I was stupid to get another dog.

“After that first one, they are all rebound dogs,” I explained.  “What am I supposed to do all day, cry at every meal I would normally feed her, or give another living dog some food?”

He didn’t really understand.  He hadn’t had a dog since childhood when his parents didn’t want to get another one.  Jealousy maybe, deep down at how easily I was able to just get what I wanted while he was left with years of life-style anguish.  Or so I think.

It was too late anyway, I already had adopted the new one.  I’m glad I did, everyday.  She’s wonderful.  She’s probably about 11 years old now.  I freak out whenever a tumor might be cancerous or she has a cough, but everything has always turned out to be benign or fixable with medicine.  The vet even says we don’t need to worry so much.  She is at that sweet age dogs get to with age and experience when they know exactly what you are talking about and can ask for whatever they want easily.  They get better with age.

Losing them is hard because you have to tell them to trust the doctor who kills them.  It’s got that element of deception even though you know what you are doing is lessening the pain and suffering they would otherwise go through dying a natural death.

It’s a different lesson on loss than losing a family member whose role cannot be filled, like a mother or father.  Siblings and cousins are half way role fillable, but they’re unique.  Friends, it depends on how friendly you are.  I’ve found that friends are very replaceable and easy to let go of.  There are plenty I want to keep forever, but I’ve learned to make new friends through losing others so I find the pain of losing them goes away fastest compared to pets and family members.

In answering his question about getting a new dog so soon, I realized that some people don’t separate how they think they should feel from how they feel and the reality of what is actually going on in the real world.  Does the previous dog care that we got another dog?  We don’t know.  All we know is that we planned to take care of a dog for the next ten years and we don’t have a dog to take care of.  In a perfect afterlife, I hope she’s happy that she joined the rest of our pack on the other side.  I know those girls up there will take good care of her.  In my dreams my grandmother already told me that she likes her so all I can do is believe that she is in good dog heaven hands.  Meanwhile, we down here must live for the living and keep on keeping on.

The Witch of Rush Creek

The Witch of Rush Creek

She must have drown in the late 1800s.  Her dress flowed eternally, billowing with the endless currents of the air.  Her thick dark hair was matted and stiff like medusa’s snakes looked at themselves in the mirror.  Her skin was blue and black either from the lack of oxygen when she died or some sort of terrible beating just before.  She is mad at the living because they have access to the life force that was stolen from her.  She fears men.  Instead she focuses on easy targets to possess such as young unaccompanied fertile women.

I know this because she targeted me.  I lay sleeping unsuspecting in my tent on a cold night in late spring.  The sound of the creek falling off the mountain side nearby and the soft breeze billowing my tent made for a peaceful night despite the cold.  In my dream, I turned around to a sneering blue face just before she slammed into me, highjacking my body. Stunned by the blow I looked down at my now blue hands still trying to figure out what had happened.  In the mirror, my reflection had been replaced by her ugly beaten face.  I entered a party of my family and friends where I proceeded to yell out a touretttial fit all the inappropriate thoughts that usually go unspoken.  After all my unspoken thoughts had finally been spewed, she blew out of me in a gust of wind, leaving me to face the judgement for all my horrible thoughts.  I looked in the mirror.  Upon seeing myself I asked people at the dream party about the crazy blue witch who purged me.  They said they only saw me having an emotional, insane fit, yelling terrible opinions.  No blue ugly face, no 1800s dress and boots.  She possessed me for that fleeting moment, haphazardly trying to steal my body and gain strength from my life force.  She must have run out of energy to fight the wind from blowing her away.  Regardless, she is there at Rush Creek, praying on young women, trying desperately to get back the life that was stolen from her.

On Verbal Diarrhea

On Verbal Diarrhea

I believe that everyone has experienced some form of verbal diarrhea in life where they feel guilt, shame, remorse, and a need to constantly apologize for letting their mouths run inappropriately in a public space. Yes, in public. When it happens in private, those negative emotions rarely follow since letting it all out in private is the sign of an emotionally potty trained human being, nothing to be ashamed of. Of course accidents happen, but they are mainly forgotten or overlooked when they solely occur on rare occasions. We aren’t perfect beings but not everyone (me) appreciates being a bottomless emotional toilet at the whim of a loose arsehole.

Some people never learned how to get it out in private. These people habitually verbal-diarrhea all over their coworkers, family members, and friends on a regular basis. They were trained to spew immediately upon the slightest urge by people they grew up or attracted along the way with similar or compatible social games. Regardless they are unaware that there is a more sanitary way.

There is hope for these people. They most likely have already mastered the art of using real toilets in private so they can apply the same technique to their runny emotions. Upon suspicion that a sticky monologue is brewing, one can politely excuse themselves from their current company. Once exited, they should find a safe place to properly excrete their inappropriate thoughts and feelings. One of the many office private rooms, long walks on the beach, small closets, behind cars, etc. are all examples of healthy places to do this kind of business.

Once finished, it is necessary to clean oneself up and tactfully return to the social scene. If suddenly a relapse is thought to happen, it is totally acceptable to re-excuse oneself and start over until empty.

It is important to reflect on what was encountered or consumed that may have caused these thoughts to come out with such a fluid, un-refined rush. Was alcohol (aka truth serum) involved either recently or the night before? Were you disgustedly assaulted by someone else’s verbal diarrhea and felt the need to fire back or vent on someone else with your own? Or perhaps you genuinely felt ill, skipped lunch (low blood sugar), have too much stress and just lost control? All these factors should be throughly anal-yzed and understood to ensure that next time one can be more prepared to efficiently avoid the need for intense dire relief by: drinking less, seeing specialist doctors, keeping snacks handy, avoiding other loose arseholes altogether, or just simply taking better care of one’s self by managing their own happiness.

Practice is key to maintaining healthy relationships not only in one’s personal life, but also one’s professional life as well.

My many depressions

My many depressions

Depression comes in many forms and at many different types of times.  It doesn’t usually just start one day and then suddenly leave me like my exboyfriend.  It blends in and out of life, feeding off my decisions, exposing the badness of them quietly.  My subconscious brain can only deal with the growing depression for so long before she starts expressing her need to change habits and routines.  The problem is that she doesn’t speak in verbal language while I am usually so caught up in adapting to my external world that I fail to notice that she’s saying anything at all.

The depression exploits this internal communication gap by hyjacking my sensitivities to perform in tandem with my subconscious brain’s attempts to alert me that I need to change my ways.  Subconscious brain says we need to go to sleep early to be well rested for work.  Depression has me over sleep my Alarm anyway so I’m late.  Was being tired early, sleeping excessively, or waking up late the subconscious brain signal?  I usually can’t tell.  So I adapt.  I find a balance in this push and pull.  Depression often has root in my external world anyway so I’m even further under its spell.

Depressions attract other depressions who further suck my energy, though for shorter periods of time.  Had the underlying depression not been in place, these devils would have been shrugged off and barely even noticed.  But they are instead brought straight in like a virus to show me how much worse I could feel about myself due to current external factors.  Truth is, there is always, 100% of the time something to feel bad about.  But I only choose to see it that way when I’m under depression’s spell.  Those jerks leave me alone eventually and my emotions settle down to the happiest I can be which is still depressed but with an extra feeling of relief.

I only know this because I’ve seen it many times from the outside.  During rare breaks of purity, happiness and free time are so abundant that even my subconscious brain is strong enough to keep all depressions far far away!  Only then can I look back and see extactly what was causing the dark mental fog to linger over me.

Each depression was different, some made me a sad drunk or an angry drunk.  Some were caused purely by a single person whom I now avoid with the utmost joy.  Jobs bring their own depression but not all of them.  Some big depressions join forces, like debt and a job.  My most recent escape.

These were unique in that the debt depression lasted the duration of the debt, six years.  Whereas the job was only the last two of that.  I feel the most relief from the job depression because it is receding much faster. My boss no longer has any control over me and he finally realized that.  No one is watching my time.  I come and go as I please.

The debt depression will continue to reveal what it has stolen from me over the next few months.  The growing list thus far includes my vanity, sense of style, generosity, stuff maintenance, and the ability to just visit with people.  The most difficult to grasp is my dreams for the future.  I stopped creating them.  I was so miserable and overwhelmed with loss that I focused all my energy into getting out debt.  I simply couldn’t afford to be myself if it meant living with that depression any longer than I absolutely had to.  I gave up a lot of myself to pursue this goal, but I would have given up just as much had I never embarked on it in the first place.  This was my chance at achieving a higher level of happiness.  It’s working, slowly.

I’m finally here, able to grow again my way.  I just need to figure out where to go from here.

 

 

Taming the Wild

Taming the Wild

I envision that in my old age, after all the major phases of life have passed, I’ll often ponder back on my old emotions. I’ll spend time remembering how long it took me to classify and name them all; how hard it was to tame them to the point that I can appear in public flawlessly, without incident. I’m sure by then they will sit in my mental tool box as neatly arranged packages, patiently waiting until I decide which ones I need to use for life’s now commonplace occurrences. I imagine that by then, they will know how to take their turn and so very few of them will take me by surprise. Even if I am by chance caught off guard, I will have already developed a technique for being caught off guard and so will not cause anyone alarm. Thus all this time I now spend starring endlessly at my ceiling, pondering what the hell just happened, will eventually be spent on more practical tasks. Though I am sure I will miss these ‘oh so wild states of fits and passion’ that so wrongly embarrass and haunt me, by then I will probably yearn to encounter new pieces of myself and wish that it all wasn’t so well organized….

-Singapore June 2012